Wednesday, December 28, 2011

christmas crack

Ok, so I realize Christmas is over and I should have posted this sooner. But really. It doesnt matter. This is a delicious treat that can be made all year. Oh! New Years. Yes, this would be perfect for a New Years party.

Its so easy and you probably already have everything you need in your pantry.

1 to 2 sleeves of saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 package chocolate chips

- Preheat oven to 400
- Arrange saltines in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet

- In a saucepan, melt butter and add brown sugar. Bring to a low boil and boil for 3 minutes
- Take off heat and pour over crackers

- Place in oven for 5 minutes
- Take out of oven and pour chocolate chips over top. Wait a few minutes for chips to melt and spread all over crackers
- Refridgerate till set
- Crack into pieces and enjoy!

I took this to two parties over Christmas. I stored left overs in a tupperwear in the fridge and they lasted for a few days.

Warning - they are addicting. I would highly recommend taking this to a party, unless you have the metabolism of a 9 year old boy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

project: carpet

Two weeks ago, we crossed off a project that had been on our list since the first day we moved into our house.
New carpet.

To refresh your are some shots of the carpet from when we first moved in. (It was actually hard to find more current photos. I must have purposely avoided taking pics of the floor over the past few years)

Rose? Mauve? Pumpkin? Ugly.
In addition to the overall displeasing aesthetic, the carpet was very old and worn in places.

Enter fresh, new, neutral carpet.

In the process, we were also able to clear the baby's room out and turn the office into an office/guest room.

We can now really start working on the nursery!

Week 29 and 30

Things are starting to get a bit more uncomfortable around here, but I am still having a wonderful pregnancy. We are getting more and more anxious and excited to meet our baby!

Friday, December 9, 2011

cinnamon sugar almonds

I have made a batch of these almonds a couple times over the past few weeks. They are super easy, tasty, and great to take to a holiday party. Or just snack on at the house.

And they are super healthy. I mean, almonds. Like a superfood or something.

And no butter!

Just ignore the whole sugar part....

Take 3-4 cups of almonds. Rinse them off if needed. (these are from this year's harvest and needed a good rinse)

Whip one egg white with 1 teaspoon cold water until frothy. I just use a whisk and beat until thick and foamy. Dont worry about making peaks or anything. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Coat almonds in egg white. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Stir to combine.

Spread out on greased cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 250, stirring every 20 minutes.


1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Another great way to use almonds from Frantz Farms!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Week 27 and 28

Hello third trimester.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

verenika making

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, the Frantz ladies get together to make verenika in preparation for the annual verenika, german sausage, and zwieback Christmas feast. This was the first year I have gone to help.

Although I am not ethnically Mennonite, I was raised in a Mennonite church, thus I have always been familiar with verenika. It was a special treat enjoyed every few years or so. Since being married to Peter, who is Mennonite, I get to have this dish every year at Christmas time. Its basically another version of a raviloi or perogi. But better, of course.

I mean, who can go wrong with cheese filled dough, pan fried, then served with sausage gravy??

And what is even better, is that this dish is made every year from multiple generations of family. This day was spent creating the verenika, boiling and freezing it - all in preparation to share with the whole family in a few weeks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Baby B Shower

Last week, we celebrated the upcoming arrival of Jill's wee babe. Sadly, I did not get any pictures of the shower in action, but Jill was definitely showered with love and fun gifts for Baby Brooks.

We were totally super inventive with our decor and didnt pull any ideas from Pinterest. Nope, not at all.

Side you guys remember when baby's breath was, like, so not cool? Like, there better not be one sprig of baby's breath in my prom bouquet. Or don't even think about adding baby's breath to anything at my wedding. Suddenly its all the rage. And I do admit, when clumped together in mason jars, it looks super cute.

Side note #2...this baby's breath came from Ecuador. What?? I wasn't aware baby's breath was indigenous to South America.

Over the years, we have planned birthdays, beach weekends, bridal showers, and now, baby showers. I can't imagine life without these girls.

So excited for Baby Brooks' arrival! Only a month before our baby and I pray they will be lifelong friends too.

26 weeks

Last week, as my 26th birthday arrived, I hit my 26th week of pregnancy.
I thought this was a fun milestone, unlikely to be repeated with any other pregnancies.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

project: closet clean out

Before anything can really happen in the baby room, we have to have new carpet installed. Call me crazy, but I am not in love with our old mauve carpet. Besides the color, its old and pretty worn in places.
But before that can happen...I had to clean out a couple closets. Yay. Great. My favorite thing to do.

Here are a couple things that I found in this closet:
- A photo album from my 8th grade band trip to Disneyland
- Mix cds from my summers working as a lifeguard
- Approximately 984 printed pictures of Mexico missions trips
- Every planner I have ever had. In my entire life.
- Tickets stubs for every sporting event Peter has attended since 1995 (I made the initial mistake of putting these in the trash pile. Yeah, apparently these are NOT trash)
- Scraps of paper from wedding shower invitations I made 4 years ago
- A gorgeous gold lamp

Um...Hoarder, anyone?

You see, all of this stuff was perfectly stored at my parents house, in my old bedroom. Then one day, my mom decided she wanted the space back and just dropped off a bunch of boxes. Thanks Mom....How dare you want to clear out your own house of my old crap.

I also realized that I have an obsession with collecting empty bags and boxes. I mean, you never know when you might need 7 empty shoeboxes. Or 4 large Macy's bags.

Good news...only 2 closets left to clean out
Bad news...I still have 2 closet left.

Week 25

I am a week behind, but wanted to post the picture nonetheless.

The end of my second trimester is going great. Lots of baby kicks and rolls, which I love. And the start of pregnancy insomnia, which I dont love.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

church garage sale

Every year, the Women's Ministries group at my church organizes a large garage (well, actually its held in a gym) sale. And every year, I go home with a few treasures.

This year was no exception.

For $15 I scored an old-fashioned (it looks handmade, but I cant be sure) children's push cart toy, a great Pendleton wool blanket, and two large glass jars.

The push cart will be filled will stuffed animals and blankets and reside in the nursery-until it can be put to good use by a little one wheeling toys around the house or outside picking up sticks. Not sure if I want to keep the natural wood or paint it a fun color.

The blanket will be great for picnics and playing outside.

The jars just look cute on my bookshelf. Reason enough to spend $1 on them, in my opinion.

Its always fun to see what I might find at the garage sale. And the best part is all money raised goes to supporting our missions fund.

Week 24

Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 22 and 23

I can understand why everyone says the second trimester is the easiest.

Other than hip pain and almost-nightly leg cramps, I feel great. Food is no longer an enemy (quite the opposite actually), I am finally getting used to sleeping on my side, and have enough energy to work out at our work gym (granted my work outs aren't exactly strenuous).

My favorite part of the past few weeks have definitely been the baby kicks. Best feeling ever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

nursery ideas

I have been thinking about our baby's nursery for a long time. As in, long before this baby even existed. The room is now our guest bedroom, but is mainly used to store stuff that doesnt belong anywhere else and house piles of clean laundry. It has become my laundry folding room and I would often get side tracked, day dreaming of the little baby that would one day fill the space. As that day gets closer and closer, the reality is starting to set in. A baby will soon be here. And I have lots of work to do!

And right now, this is the current state of that room (keeping it real here)

But I have plans! I always knew I would want a more gender neutral, colorful nursery, which is perfect since Baby Frantz will be a surprise. I am sure I will add in more boy or girl items/colors after the baby is born. But for now, I am excited about creating a cute, colorful space for our baby.

Here are some inspiration fabrics to get me going.

Disclaimer...I have actually not purchased any fabric yet, but I will. Soon! I would like to use the fabric for a tiered crib skirt, curtains (probably the yellow chevron), and fabric accents for the room. A white crib has already been picked out, the white dresser will stay as a changing table and I am on the lookout for a cute bookshelf and chair.

Before all of this can happen, I need to clean out the closet. And that in itself will be an adventure. Anyone know where, in my little house, I can store bulky snowboarding clothes, stuff leftover from our childhood bedrooms, and boxes of high school yearbooks??

To cheer me up from this daunting task, I purchased a couple cute things for the room.

An old globe in all the right colors (and, duh, to obviously quiz my kid on geography) and vintage-inspired alphabet fabric (to either use as a wall hanging, soft book, or another crafty idea I have never attempted)

I have about four months to go and am really excited to get started!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Dear Multigrain Cheerios,
Thank you for existing. You have been my cereal of choice for the past year. The longest any cereal has held that title. You have helped me through some rough months, when all I wanted was to eat you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You better not ever be discontinued. EVER.

Dear Fall,
Um. Where the heck are you? Its the middle of October, in case you have not heard.
I dont really appreciate the 90 degree weather. You can show up at any time. Thankyouverymuch.

My dearest Autumn Wreath candle,
You are my scent of the month. And even though its 89 degrees outside, I will still burn you and drink apple cider every night.

Dear clean laundry pile
I loathe you. Why cant you just fold yourself? The end.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

21 weeks

Baby Frantz is the length of a carrot!

Very thankful that my Dr appt went well last week. Strong heartbeat and zero complications.

19 more weeks to go! chalkboard got a facelift. So much better!